2013 Puppets

Spork in Hand Puppet Slam at Indie Grits

Saturday, April 12th/7p.m. & 9p.m./$10/ Nickelodeon Theater


Alan Best; Chapel Hill, NC

Beau Brown; Atlanta, GA

Beau Brown is the Community Coordinator at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, GA. As one of Atlanta’s most prolific puppetry artists, his puppet film credits include the short features, “Shadow Puppets”, “The Wind-Up Boy” and “The Dark Companion”, as well as the wildly popular web series “The Sci-Fi Janitors“. He is also a major force in puppet slam promotion; in addition to producing the first-ever “Late Night Puppet Slam at Dragon*Con”, he was the Director of Late Night Entertainment at the 2011 National Puppet Festival and is the long-standing host of “The Puckin’ Fuppet Show”, a competitive puppet slam. This year he will the Director of Puppet Programming at Dragon*Con 2012 as well as producing the 2012 National Puppet Slam at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

Madison Cripps; Asheville, NC

Madison J. Cripps of Cripps Puppets brings his intricate marionettes to life with personalities almost as outgoing as his own. While some are friendly, like his foot-smelling rabbit or maudlin street sweeper Sammy, others are blood thirsty, egotistical, or dangerously insane. All of them share a need for attention and love that makes them both relatable and memorable to a crowd.

Lyon Hill; Columbia, SC

Lyon Forrest Hill lives with his wife, Jenny Mae, and their son, Oliver, in Columbia, SC. He has been a puppetmaker and puppeteer with the Columbia Marionette Theatre since 1997. His paintings and puppets have been shown in numerous galleries over the years and his puppet shows have been performed at regional and national puppet festivals. Three of his short films are part of Heather Henson’s Handmade Puppet Dreams film series, which are shown internationally.

Paul Kauffman; Columbia, SC

Paul Kaufmann is an actor, writer and artist.  His acting credits include three productions at New York’s famed LaMaMa E.T.C.: The Cherry Orchard Sequel (2008, NY Times critic’s pick), The System (2009) and the title role in this year’s Hieronymus, all written by Obie Award winner Nic Ularu. With Mr. Ularu, Paul has also toured Romania in The System (2006). In 2010, he performed at the Cairns Festival in Queensland, Australia in Dean Poynor’s H. apocalyptus, a zombie survival tale. He has performed the same role in the Piccolo Spoleto Festival (2011) and at The Studios of Key West. Also at TSKW: One Night Stand: 3, 4 and 5. Recent roles at Trustus Theatre include Dan in Next to Normal, Charles Guiteau in Assassins, Bill Fordham in August: Osage County and all roles in I Am My Own Wife.  For pacific performance project/east, Paul played Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2012) and Man in Pile in Mizu No Eki (The Water Station) (2010). A founding member of the SC Shakespeare Company, Paul has acted onstage, in television and in film (including Campfire Tales and Lyon Forrest Hill’s Junk Palace) for 40 years. His collages, assemblages and paintings have been exhibited at Anastasia and Friends gallery.  He’s thrilled to be a part of the Spork In Hand Puppet Slam. In May, Paul returns to Romania to perform at the Sibiu International Theatre Festival in a new production directed by Mr. Ularu.

 Kimi Maeda; Columbia, SC

Kimi Maeda is a theatre artist whose intimate visual performances cross disciplines and push boundaries.  Trained as a scenic and costume designer whose work has been recognized nationally, she is drawn to the versatility of puppetry and delights in the fact that it allows her to explore all of her diverse interests; from science to storytelling.  Kimi worked for several years as a puppeteer and set designer for the Columbia Marionette Theatre, writing and directing Snow White and The Little Mermaid. Her shadow-puppet performances The Crane Wife and The Homecoming are original adaptations of traditional Japanese folktales interwoven with her own bi-cultural experience growing up as a Japanese-American.

Valerie Meiss; Asheville, NC

Valerie Meiss is a musician, puppeteer, performer, actor, and visual artist based in Asheville, NC.  She is co-producer of The Wham, Bam! Puppet Slam, and can been seen performing regionally and nationally in the band Hellblinki and also as Miss Mousie & the Rigamarole

Robert Padley; Columbia, SC

Keith Shubert

Toybox Theatre, founded in 1999, is the creation of Keith Shubert, who is principle artist and builder.  They perform solo and group shows for galleries, theatres, schools, festivals, and private parties.  Shubert is also the host and founder of The Caustic Catcall Cabaret, an adult variety show.